with permission of the Sun-Sentinel Company and South Florida
Interactive, Inc., per Bob Rountree, News Editor, Sun-Sentinel.com
FOR MORE SOUTH
FLORIDA NEWS, VISIT
Friends organize relief
missions to Bahamas
By VANESSA BAUZ, (Sun-Sentinel) Staff Writer
When John Heiser
pictures the whirling eye of Hurricane Floyd parked on his beloved
Bahamian island of Treasure Cay, he doesn't think of splintered
homes or submerged marinas, or even the eroded bays.
of John, the little 7-year-old boy who always remembers his name.
He imagines the
old man who takes him out fishing and the generous friends who
have opened their doors to him time and again.
They are his
extended island family -- the reason Heiser, a Coral Springs
firefighter and paramedic, is so eager to help. He had scheduled
a vacation for the next two weeks and he hopes to spend that
time in Treasure Cay rebuilding homes, clearing roads and volunteering
Heiser is one
of a network of South Floridians who mobilized on Thursday to
start getting supplies to the little islands battered by Floyd.
The Coast Guard Air Station in Miami flew reconnaissance missions
over Eleuthera and the Abacos, and American Eagle planes began
ferrying food, water and electric generators to the islands.
On Thursday afternoon,
a propeller plane from Gulfstream International Airlines flew
to Abaco loaded with about 3,000 pounds of water, juice, toilet
paper, plastic tarps and shovels. Felix Sawyer, a Bahamian businessman
who lives part of the year in Palm Beach County, organized his
own relief mission by calling JFK Medical Center near West Palm
Beach on Wednesday night to ask for medical supplies.
Sharon Reuben said the hospital donated syringes and bandages,
as well as an emergency room doctor and nurse.
International, based in West Palm Beach, will fly 1,000 loaves
of bread and 400 gallons of water to Marsh Harbour and Eleuthera
Rick Graef, who
lives in Fort Lauderdale, runs a Web site about the Abacos (go-abacos.com).
He said he has received about 20 e-mail messages an hour from
people as far away as California who wanted to help.
of people like the guy who runs a conch stand in Marsh Harbour,"
Graef said. "He's not going to call the insurance company
or sit around and say 'Woe is me.' He's going to have to pull
himself up by his bootstraps."
Article posted with permission of the Sun-Sentinel
Company and South Florida Interactive, Inc., per Bob Rountree,
News Editor, Sun-Sentinel.com Copyright 1999, Sun-Sentinel Co.
& South Florida Interactive, Inc.